Feeds

Toshiba touts DVD/HD DVD hybrid

Dual-layer disc to smooth hi-def format adoption

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Toshiba and fellow Japanese technology company Memory-Tech have developed the obvious successor to DualDisc: a disc that incorporates both DVD and an HD DVD playback surfaces.

Unlike DualDisc, which mounts a regular CD on the back of a DVD Audio disc, the Toshiba/Memory-Tech system uses a dual-layer structure so both formats can be played off one side of the disc.

Both discs indicate a lack of confidence in consumer demand for the higher-resolution formats. While punters readily enough dropped vinyl LPs and cassettes for CDs, they have yet to show the same enthusiasm for DVD Audio or its Sony alternative, Super Audio CD. While both offer much better audio quality than CD, their respected supporters have yet to push either format to the mass-market, preferring to target audiophiles.

DualDisc is seen as a way of enticing ordinary listeners over to the new format, but allowing recording companies to issue single-package product that supports CD along with DVD Audio, ensuring backward compatibility with today's hi-fi equipment, but allowing punters to build up a library of high-res material without being forced to splash out on a new player straight away.

The Toshiba/Memory-Tech system would presumably work the same way, allowing consumers to obtain hi-definition video content long before they feel the need to upgrade to the new technology. When they do, they'll have a ready supply of content. Having the content already is also likely to encourage consumers to upgrade to the higher-quality format sooner rather than later.

And with Sony pushing Blu-ray as an alternative to HD DVD, Toshiba undoubtedly hopes that that availability of cross-generation content will help shift the market toward the latter format rather than Sony's alternative. Toshiba recently said four major pre-recorded DVD providers have committed to HD DVD. While the format has the strength of the phenomenally popular DVD brand, it's still up against the Sony marketing machine and - crucially - the Playstation 3's role as a Blu-ray market seeder.

Both systems also assume that consumers are not going to go on a big media replacement binge like the music industry saw when buyers shifted to CD.

Both formats' success will depend on broad label adoption and non-preferential pricing. If they significantly cost more than vanilla DVDs, few buyers beyond those who'll quickly adopt HD DVD anyway will choose the hybrids.

The first discs will hold 4.7GB of DVD data and 15GB of HD DVD content, the two companies said. ®

Related stories

Major studios back HD DVD
HP confirms plans for Blu-ray
Toshiba preps HD DVD notebook PC
CE giants 'readying Blu-ray camcorders'
DVD Forum finalises HD DVD-RW disc spec
Blu-ray group mandates Microsoft codec for BD-ROM
European sofas brace for HDTV
Blu-ray movie disc format unveiled
DualDisc roll out challenged by Euro patent holder
Sony selects Blu-ray for PlayStation 3
Blu-ray founders rename, open group to new members

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.